SA Pharmacists to deliver Japanese encephalitis virus vaccines
18 October 2022
The South Australian Government has today announced that pharmacists will soon be able to deliver free Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vaccines to people over five years of age who travel to, live or work along the River Murray.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the announcement, with SA/NT President Veronika Seda highlighting the role of pharmacists in ensuring that the vaccination is accessible to all eligible people.
“Pharmacists play an important role in enabling access to vaccinations for every eligible person living in South Australia,” Ms Seda said.
“While 90% of JEV infections are asymptomatic, the virus can cause a rare and potentially life-threatening infection of the brain. It’s vital that we encourage the uptake of JEV vaccines in affected areas.
“As the most accessible health care professionals, community pharmacists completely support any measures that strengthen the health and wellbeing of our communities. Pharmacists are skilled and ready to provide any additional advice people may need regarding mosquito borne diseases, such as JEV.”
The vaccine will be available to patients free of charge, with pharmacists receiving $20 (inc. GST) in remuneration for each dose delivered. This is less than pharmacists receive for delivering an influenza vaccination, despite JEV vaccinations requiring a longer consultation.
“As the organisation representing all pharmacists practising in Australia, PSA is concerned that the rate of remuneration for South Australian pharmacists delivering JEV vaccinations is insufficient.
“JEV has a strict eligibility criteria, which requires pharmacists to spend more time consulting with patients. That extra time is time taken away from the dispensary and helping other patients, which can have a significant impact in small, regional, or rural pharmacies.
“In comparison, general practitioners are delivering the same service, administering the same vaccine, and are able to claim $39.75 for each patient under Medicare. Pharmacists deserve to be paid the same rate,” Ms Seda concluded.
More information on the Japanese encephalitis virus and vaccines can be found here.
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0410 505 315 E: firstname.lastname@example.org